Branding Revisited

In my further attempts to narrow down the sort of things I’m likely to end up writing stories about, I have abandoned text and gone for a diagram.  Lo! The Venn of Alex:

So, we’ve got

Plain Historical, Plain Fantasy, Plain Romance and Plain Mystery.

Shining in the Sun is a plain romance, and I have an idea for a plain mystery and a plain historical which may or may not come to pass.  But I’m not as happy writing in a single genre as I am writing in at least two at once.

So False Colors, Captain’s Surrender and Blessed Isle are all AD – Historical Romance.

The Witch’s Boy is AB – Historical Fantasy.

Under the Hill is ABD – Fantasy with a strong element of History and Romance.

The Wages of Sin is ABCD – Mystery, Historical Romance and elements of Fantasy.

Future projects include

Whirlwind Boys (AD), an idea for a Historical Mystery (AC) and an idea for a Historical Fantasy Mystery (ABC)

The most consistent thing in the lot is the A – the historical element.  That’s interesting, as I didn’t realize I was quite that wedded to it.  My new tag line definitely seems to sum it all up, though 🙂

It was interesting thinking this through.  It does give me a brand of sorts, but also plenty of room to manoeuvre.  Why haven’t I tried Steampunk yet, I wonder?  You’d have thought it was everything I liked in a single package.

Comments (9)

Jan JonesFebruary 16th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Whereas I write CD, ACD, BCD, AD, BD and, er D. Hmm, not tricky to spot the connection there.

Alex BeecroftFebruary 16th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I think having D as your mainstay is a lot better than A. With A, I waffle about over several genres, but with D – even though you get as much variety as I do – you can concentrate on one exclusively. Romance is really good that way, being able to have everything else within it.

Lee BenoitFebruary 16th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

May I just say that if I didn’t already have an epic brain crush on you (which, for the record, yes) this Venn diagram would totally do the job? Stunning, and *so* helpful for those of us who “live” under one genre’s roof but have rooms and outbuildings devoted to others. They’re all part of the same house, is my point (yeah, long day at work — sorry!).

Also, I love that your diagram looks more than a little like a lotus flower!

(P.S. I attended the New England Leather Alliance’s Fetish Fair Flea Market this past weekend and steampunk gear and costumes were much in vogue.)

Alex BeecroftFebruary 17th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

*g* Thanks, Lee! Yes, branding is easy enough if you happen to have a tight focus on one thing. But if you don’t – if you like synthesizing lots of different things – you feel a bit out of step. It’s nice to know that there’s something coherent behind it after all. And even nicer that – as you say – it looks like a flower 🙂

I think that it’s the Victoriana of steampunk that has been putting me off. It’s not an era I’m fond of. So I’ve now started writing Georgian steampunk, and that’s much better. A well dressed gentleman needs something to hold his wig on while he flies his dirigible, after all!

MinnetteFebruary 17th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Love the diagram, Alex! Mine would have A-G, alas, but I’d love to try this. Would be interesting to see how many so far. Let’s see romance, historical, fantasy, paranormal (just finished), urban fantasy (just finished that – Dark Elf, sexy), children’s books, and inspirational. I’m such a writing slut! Yes, I’m back…… M:o)

Alex BeecroftFebruary 17th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

*g* Ah, I count paranormal as part of the Fantasy genre. (The Wages of Sin is more strictly paranormal than fantasy.) And of course Urban Fantasy I also count as fantasy. I don’t think I could do children’s books, though. I’ve forgotten what it was like being a child – thank goodness!

What makes a book an inspirational? Does it have to comply with some American notion of what Christianity is like? Because – from what I’ve seen of it – American Christianity seems quite different than what we have on this side of the pond. I mean, I tackle Christian themes and have Christian characters struggling with their faith – what more is needed to make an inspirational?

Lee BenoitFebruary 19th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

The beauty of your lotus branding device is that it can help clarify which petal(s) a particular story occupies. That’s helpful in the writing, of course, but even more so in deciding where to pitch it, how to develop the synopsis, and all sorts of other odious adjuncts to the writing life. 🙂

Alex BeecroftFebruary 21st, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Oh, good point! I hadn’t thought of that, but yes it’s always helpful to know what you’ve got so you know who to offer it to.

[…] The Wages of Sin is very close to my heart, partly because it’s right in the centre of the venn diagram of my interests, being a historical, paranormal murder mystery, m/m romance. Partly it’s dear […]

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